There’s more to hockey fights than what meets the eye. To the untrained eye a fight during a hockey game is just two guys throwing punches in a barbaric way.
What most people dont know even some fans is that the enforcers in hockey have a code that they go by. The enforcer is the dictator of the who, the when and the where of when the ‘sanctioned violence’ takes place, their role is one of the most unique in sports. In some cases these players need to stay tough in order to say in their league for example Kevin Westgarth. Some players have nothing but good things to say about these men who make them look good and in some cases feel like they owe their career progression to the enforcers on their team a good example of these players is Brett Hull.
Many enforcers fill a role we’ve seen in professional sports the relationship between an enforcer and a player is a father-like or big brother-like relationship by keeping his team mates loose while offering his advice as a veteran player. Like all good things this can go one or two ways.
Nowadays many NHL teams dont employ a full-time enforcer and for the guys who are blue bloods of this sport this is a big struggle for them – if you get chance an interesting video for an example of this is when Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has to send his enforcer Colton Orr down into a minor league – this made me fill up with a lot of emotion.
Now to do a little analyzing….. Sidney Crosby (this guy is one of my all time favourite hockey players) despite him being one of the most decorated players he has had multiple injuries during his career many people believe that these wouldn’t have happened if an enforcer was employed to watch Crosby’s back and believe he wouldn’t have suffered some of his injuries. Little fact here for you… teams like the Chicago Black-hawks, LA Kings, Boston Bruins along with Crosby’s team the Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t have a full time enforcer in their roster however they did have guys who were willing to drop the gloves if need be.
This code is the overriding theme in ice guardians(theres a review on this documentary on this blog so if you get two minutes give it a quick skim over it goes into detail a little bit more than this post)
However just bear one thing in mind after reading this post just know that a fight during a hockey game is much more complex than you think.